Waiting times rise to three-year high

Hospital waiting times have risen to a three-year high, a King's Fund investigation has found.

The NHS faces a 'considerable challenge' in maintaining performance (Photograph: Jason Heath Lancy)
The NHS faces a 'considerable challenge' in maintaining performance (Photograph: Jason Heath Lancy)

In February 2011, nearly 15% of hospital inpatients waited over 18 weeks for treatment, the highest level since April 2008. In addition, 3.5% of patients waited more that four hours to be seen at A&E.

Professor John Appleby, chief economist at the King’s Fund said: ‘With hospital waiting times rising, the NHS faces a considerable challenge in maintaining performance as the financial squeeze begins to bite.’

However the report also revealed that the proportion of patients waiting more than six weeks for diagnostic services fell to 1.46% in February 2011.

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